13 March 2013

Vauxhall Adam doesn't float my boat

I AM well aware of the hype over the new Vauxhall Adam. Yes, another small car with an endless list of customisations to tailor buyers' tastes and/or budgets. To rival the MINI, Fiat 500, Audi A1, Alfa Romeo MiTo and the Citroen DS3. I'm sorry to say this, but I just can't warm to the Adam.

I can't really pin point on why I haven't got excited over the Adam. Is it the daft name? Sorry if you're called Adam by the way - but really, a car manufacturer should not call a car Adam. Though you can argue that Vauxhall's sister company Opel, named it after their founder Adam Opel. Like Ferrari named their supercar the Enzo, in honour of Enzo Ferrari to celebrate 60 years of the Prancing Horse.

In the UK, where Opels are rebadged and sold as Vauxhalls. It just doesn't make sense nor does it translate too well on British shores. Vauxhall's founder was Alexander Wilson, so it would make more sense to name it the Vauxhall Alex. 

It can't be named the Alex though, as Vauxhall and Opel's parent company General Motors, do a policy of Vauxhall and Opel's cars being pretty much identical barring the badges they wear. In the 1990s, GM made a policy that Vauxhall and Opel's cars carried identical name plates. That's why Cavalier became Vectra; Nova became Corsa; Carlton became Omega and Kadett became Astra.

Then there's the trim names. We've heard plenty of silly trim names for cars in the past. Peugeot 205 Aztec, Renault Clio BeBop and Nissan Micra Vibe to name some. But Vauxhall have taken that to the next level, with Glam, Slam and Jam models in the Adam range. If it was called the Vauxhall Alex. Would the models in the range be Flex, Kex and Rex? Just a thought.

Put the daft names to one side, I just think Vauxhall are trying too hard to make this car cool. I don't think the Adam has any quirks or unique features to make it cool or desirable in my opinion. It lacks snob appeal like a MINI or an Audi A1, and it also lacks character rivals like the: Citroen DS3, the Fiat 500 and the Alfa Romeo MiTo have in bucket spades. Those qualities that will make these cars appealing which I think the Adam doesn't have. What it comes across to me is that Vauxhall have made a MINI or DS3 wannabe.

At the end of the day, Vauxhall, as a car manufacturer is not usually one mentioned when it comes to the subject of cool anyway. However, I do have a bit of a soft spot for the Astra GTC.

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